Oral Cancer Screenings: Early Detection Saves Lives
At Browne Goetz & Miraglia in Mount Kisco, NY, our dentists are committed to delivering a beautiful and healthy smile. Our primary focus and a major point of emphasis is preventative measures and your overall health. At our practice, we offer thorough examinations of your mouth, throat, and lips to help detect any signs or symptoms of oral cancer. Our goal with oral cancer screenings is to safeguard your oral health by detecting suspicious lesions at their earliest stage, so treatment can begin immediately.
Understanding the Risks
Oral cancer is often diagnosed in its later stages, which makes it one of the more deadly diseases. As a result, the five-year fatality rate is over 40 percent. In the United States alone, nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, resulting in more than 9,700 deaths. Cancerous lesions are primarily found in the tongue, tonsils, oropharynx, gums, and floor of the mouth as well as the lips and minor salivary glands. In general, men are twice as likely to be diagnosed than women.
All patients are at risk of developing oral cancer, but some are considered to be a higher risk than others. Frequent tobacco users, heavy alcohol consumption, and patients who come in contact with human papillomavirus (HPV), Strain 16, are typically considered high-risk patients. Increased risk may also be the result of genetic predisposition, immunosuppression, and occupational risks.
Early detection of oral cancer is crucial to combat the disease, so we recommend regular visits and examinations at least every six months.
The Importance of Early Detection
When diagnosed at an early stage, oral cancer has an encouraging survival rate between 80 and 90 percent. However, in between your visits, we encourage you to be aware of any troubling signs and symptoms that may indicate oral cancer. During your daily oral hygiene routine, be aware of any sores on your lips, neck, or throat that do not heal within 14 days. If lesions are hidden in the throat, patients may experience difficulty swallowing, difficulty moving the tongue, a hoarse voice, or constant ear pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
If a lesion is discovered, your dentist will refer to you an oncologist to have a biopsy performed. This will determine whether it is a tumor and whether it is benign or malignant. Depending on the diagnosis, recommended treatment options can vary. For benign tumors, your doctor may recommend keeping the tumor intact, unless it is interfering with oral function. If the lesion is found to be cancerous, the most common treatment is surgical removal. Depending on the size of the tumor, it may be possible to completely remove it. However, larger tumors often require partial removal, followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
Protect Your Health Today
Early detection of oral cancer is crucial to combat the disease, so we recommend regular visits and examinations at least every six months. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please give us a call at (914)241-1191, or contact us directly online.
If you have any questions for the Browne Goetz & Miraglia team, or would like a complimentary dental or orthodontic consultation, then please feel free to contact us.